Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Born at Home Alone

This is the birth story of Samuel A. McDaniel. 7lbs. 13 oz., 20 inches
S.A.M. for short. Yes, we made those initials on purpose. The things parents do to their children that will stick with them forever, right? What will forever stick with me is how Sam came into this world, at home alone.

I was sleeping soundly in my room at home, when I woke up to a wet bed. My husband, who was not yet in bed, asked "is everything all right?"
I'm sitting on the toilet now and respond, "yeah, I just peed the bed. Will you put on some clean sheets."
I was really expecting to go back to sleep. Then I thought to myself, what if my water just broke, but it's 3 weeks early. I should take a shower and shave my legs just in case. 
After my shower, I'm still not feeling any intense contractions, but I'm too jumpy to go back to sleep. My husband asked, "should we take Lexi (our toddler) to the babysitters now?"
And I respond, "no let's make sure I'm really in labor."
So we sit down to watch one of my favorite TV episodes on the internet, and  I started timing my contractions. They were 8 to 6 minutes apart, but not strong. I was reminded of my last appointment with the midwife. She said not to go to the hospital until my contractions were good and strong.
12:45 AM
We call the babysitter and by 1:00AM my husband is out the door to deliver our oldest to the sitters house. I kept having to sit on the toilet. I'll spare you the graphics, but let's just say I only left the toilet because I was scared the baby would come out into the toilet. Not a pleasant way to enter the world.
1:00AM ish
Because I can't leave the toilet, I tell my husband to go on without me, just swing back by to pick me up for the ride to the hospital. Standing up was less painful than sitting down. And by 1:00AM there was some pain. Our friend/babysitter lives a town away a 45 minute roundtrip (mistake number 1).
I call my husband between intense minute apart contractions and yell "where are you?"
He answers "I'm on my way."
I yell again, "Where...are you?"
"I'm on my way."
"Where...." another contractions started.
He swears I wasn't saying anything just screaming in pain, which is very hilarious to me now. Walking ver slowly, I go to the other room, get a towel, and walk two more rooms over to wait for him in the kitchen by the back door.
As I'm walking back with my towel, I have to kneel down because the pain is so intense. I yell at the baby "stay in there Sam." Another contraction hits I tell him again, "Sam wait till we get to the hospital."
While I'm down on my knees I feel down there and see if I wiped off well enough for a car ride. No, I need napkins. That's when I feel the baby's head, the size of my hand (a lot of head). "Holy Cow," as we'd say in Oklahoma, I wasn't going to make it through a car ride.
1:57AM  911 Call
Between contractions I called 911 and put them on speaker phone. The call dropped and they called back. When they asked "what's your emergency?" I politely yelled "I'm having a baby," because I was now starting another contraction.
"Can you see any part of the baby?"
"The head."
"Can you see any part of the baby?"
"The head."
"Can you see any part of the baby?"
"The head, HEAD"
Wow, I must really be hard to understand when I'm speaking through a contraction.  
 Just a side note here to 911 operators. Please don't ask a woman in labor to tell you her age. She can barley speak. And, don't tell her not to scream. In fact saying something like "let it all out, " would be more encouraging and productive. After she gives birth, please don't tell her to get up and do ANYTHING. I do give the woman credit though, she did remind me to put my hand down there to catch the baby and gently place him on the towel.
2:05 AM
Sam is born. With just me and the 911 operator on the phone to witness.
2:06 AM
EMSA and my husband arrive. He says he pulled up to our house and saw the ambulance and thought Gee she couldn't just wait for me. I said I was on my way.
But when he walked through the front door and saw me and Sam on the floor, he was glad I had called 911. And we both got to hold our son with no delay. Mom and baby were healthy.

I actually enjoyed talking to my EMS workers. They told me how this was their first baby, and they were so excited. They were so nice and smiling, even though I was half nude and bloody. Having a baby can be quite embarrassing, but you can't have a baby with your pants on. Actually my pants were only half way off when Sam was born. I didn't have time to take them off. In fact three firemen also got to come in the kitchen that night.
EMSA gave me a choice to stay home and deliver the placenta or go to the hospital. Since I'd had complications with the placenta not detaching with my first child I opted for the trip to the hospital. My first EMSA ride (I've never had to call 911 before).

2:45 AM ish
We made it to the hospital in time to deliver the placenta. Several of the nurses were in awe of how I'd had my baby at home; that motivated me to write this blog. I hope it's been insightful. All births are different. I wanted a natural childbirth experience (no medication, no induction, a midwife attending at our local hospital). Our first child was born after 1 week in the hospital, an induction on the last day, 6 hours of labor, a dose of some medication that just made me feel loopy, and while I was on pittocin. She was labeled "high risk," because of gestational diabetes.

The irony of answered prayer: We had asked God for a quick and speedy delivery with little pain. And we got it. Next time, I might add "at a hospital." Samuel means "heard of God."We thank God that he hears us.

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